Comprehensive Guide: Red Seven Card Counting System

Do you want a card counting method straight from one of the best blackjack players of all time? Then start learning the Red Seven card counting system by the legendary Arnold Snyder. And guess what? This is the best card counting system for newbie blackjack players and those that are starting in card counting.

Although this is a very intuitive system, it doesn’t mean that its accuracy is doubtful. This is basic yet professional. And the fact that Arnold Snyder formulated it is enough to justify the system’s integrity.

Arnold Snyder is one of the first seven inductees in the Blackjack Hall of Fame. His years and expertise in gambling made him an esteemed gambler in the blackjack community. Arnold started young in blackjack where he got to formulate various strategies and write several books.

So if you’re interested to learn the Red Seven system, read on.

What is the Red Seven system?

red seven card countingThe Red Seven method first surfaced in 1983 during the heydays of Arnold Snyder’s gambling career. Aside from this card counting method, Arnold is also lauded for his books that provide actual and proven strategies to win the card game.

This card counting system is featured in Arnold’s books called The Big Book of Blackjack and Blackbelt in Blackjack.

It’s imperative to have a good grasp of the basic strategy before trying the Red Seven method. As much as it’s targeted for beginners, it will still need a short background of the game. Still, it bears the same high and low counting of the other card counting methods.

Red Seven’s level of accuracy is actually surprising given its simple and straightforward system. It skips the need to convert the running count into a true count which makes it an unbalanced method.

And since many card counters hate complicated Math, the Red Seven is an ideal choice, especially for beginners.

Is this better than Hi-Lo?

Arnold Snyder claims that this system has around 80% of Hi-Lo’s accuracy. But since Red Seven ditches the need to convert for a true count, it has an edge over the Hi-Lo system. As much as you can study both, this system by Arnold is a great alternative.

Aside from keeping track of the shoe, the Red Seven system also comes with betting and playing deviations based on the running count. This makes it even more lucrative for those who are playing for the money.

But whether it’s better than Hi-Lo or not, only your playing strategies will know. Both the Red Seven card counting system and the Hi-Lo method are effective and it increases your advantage over the house.

How does it work?

For those who have knowledge about the Hi-Lo method, the Red Seven would only take a little work. It also has values assigned to each card which the player will add or subtract to the running count.

Like all card counting methods, the goal is to reach a positive and high running count to bet favorably. Here are the card values you’ll use with the Red Seven system:

2, 3, 4, 5, and 6: +1

Red 7: +1

Black 7: 0

10, J, Q, K, Ace: -1

If you know the KISS method, these Red Seven values have a big similarity to it. There are cards you can ignore but you also have to mind the color since the Red and Black 7 cards will have different counts. Such subtlety can make or break your count if you don’t pay enough attention.

Note that the rest of the 7, 8, and 9 cards can be ignored since these have a value of 0. Also, the starting count for this system isn’t zero but the number of decks multiplied by -2. So if you’re playing in a six-deck table, your starting count is 6 x -2 = -12. The fewer the decks are the higher the starting count will be.

From there, you just add, subtract, or do nothing based on the cards being dealt. The only task you have is to keep the running count accurate. This is already a downgraded method, unlike the Omega II where you’ll need to keep a running count, convert it to a true count, and then count Aces on the side.

Like the usual premise of card counting, when the running count is higher and positive, the edge is on your side.

Important numbers on the game:

Betting correlation: 0.98

Ease of learning: 0.70

Insurance correlation: 0.74

Playing efficiency: 0.54

Betting deviations

The best part about the Red Seven system is it’s not just a card counting method. It’s a full-scale playing and betting strategy where you’ll get to increase your odds of winning.

Well, what can we expect with the genius Arnold Snyder?

Betting deviations are the manner of changing your wagers based on the running count. This helps minimize your losses and maximize your winnings when the shoe is rich. In short, you’ll know when to strike whilst the iron is hot.

The rule of thumb in the Red Seven card counting system is to bet only one unit when the running count is negative. If you’re new to blackjack, a betting unit is an amount set you wager per hand. For example, if you have $1,000, you can assign a betting amount of $10 per unit. With that, you have 100 betting units on your $1,000 bankroll.

When the count is 0, you’re going to bet two units. If we are to use the betting example above, it would be $20. When playing in a single-deck table, always bet four units once the running count hits at least +2. This is an added strategy aside from the blackjack chart single deck.

As for multiple decks, you’d have to increase the units further once the running count is on your side. Wait until you have a running count of +6 before betting three units. Moreover, bet four units once the running count is +8, six units once you have +12, and then 8 units once the running count is +16.

Strategy and playing deviations

Aside from changing your betting behavior, the Red Seven also pairs the running count with strategy deviations. This is when you deviate from the basic strategy depending on specific running count values.

Sure thing, you can count cards and stick to the basic strategy, but you can win more money if you’ll risk using deviations. It will take a lot of practice but you’ll soon learn the ropes after a few rounds.

Here are the deviations based on the running count:


When practicing the basic strategy, you’ll not take insurance no matter what. However, if you’re using the Red Seven and the running count is 0 in a single-deck table, the deviation says you should bet on insurance. This will differ from the blackjack chart single deck and is called the zero pivot. In addition, take insurance on multiple decks when the running count is at least +2.

Still, you can opt out of this deviation if you’re more bent on allotting your units on actual hands.

*16 hand vs. a dealer 10

The basic strategy says that you should hit on this situation. But if you have a running count of 0 or higher, you should stand.

*12 hand vs. dealer 3

Like the 16 hand vs. the dealer 10, you should stand when the count is 0 or higher.

*12 and vs. dealer 2

No matter what card the dealer has, always stand if the running count is +2 or higher.

*15 hand vs. dealer 10

When the running count is +2 or higher, it’s better to stand than to hit. The dealer may likely bust.

*Doubling down

The basic strategy tells you that you should double down when you have an 11 hand. But if the running count is +2 and higher, double down a 10 hand regardless of the dealer’s up-card.

These are just some of the deviations you can do on your hands. Once you memorize these by heart, you’ll now have 80% of the strategies needed to make the most out of the Red Seven system.

red seven card counting

Why use the Red Seven method?

Red Seven is simple, easy to understand, and highly accurate. There’s no reason not to like this card counting method, nay apply it to your game.

For beginners who want to up their game than just using the basic strategy, the Red Seven card counting method is for the books.  This is also ideal for professional card counters who want to spice up their games with additional methods.

Given that you use the right starting count and you pay attention to the color of the cards, this will be very easy to use.

Still, we recognize that every method comes with some disadvantages. To help you weigh if Red Seven is worth the try, here are some pros and cons:


✔️There’s no need to convert to true count

✔️Very easy to learn even for beginners

✔️It comes with betting and playing deviations

✔️The betting correlation is at 0.98

✔️Devised by one of the most successful blackjack players


❌It’s an unbalanced system which can be an issue for some

❌20% less accurate than the Hi-Lo card counting method

❌Requires a lot of practice

Like any system, you need to master the Red Seven method before using it in an actual casino game. But once you learn the ins and outs of this system, you’re going to enjoy a better edge than playing with basic strategy alone.

Who should use this card counting system?

Anyone can use the Red Seven system. It’s not too advanced for beginners and it’s not too basic for professional card counters. Since it shares major similarities with the Hi-Lo method, it wouldn’t be a pain to learn.

As much as this is a simple system, never consider it as a piece of cake. Once you mess up the count, your game is doomed.

I’m saying this because if you follow the betting deviations with the wrong count, you will lose a lot of money. The same goes for the changes in your playing strategies.

But before you try your hand on this system, make sure that you understand the basic strategy by heart. Even Arnold Snyder considers it as a staple before trying any card counting method. You can also ask just about any card counter and they will tell you the same thing.

Yes, there are playing deviations, but the basic strategy is the strongest foundation for the game.

Red Seven as an unbalanced system

The biggest difference of Red Seven to other simple card counting systems is that it’s an unbalanced method. Instead of having zero as the end count, you’re supposed to have +2 by the end of the deck or shoe.

This is the same reason why you’re not supposed to start with a count of 0.

You should always multiple -2 to the number of decks you’re playing with.

This is just simple math and you’ll only add or subtract 1 once the game starts.

Also, this is a simplified method where you’ll do the bare minimum. Making sure that you master the system will be the key to winning hands. This is regardless of you use a blackjack chart single deck or multiple-deck strategies.

How to practice Red Seven properly

Many experts recommend that you practice for at least 40 hours before trying this method in a brick-and-mortar casino. The rule is to attain a level of efficiency and speed the way you’ll play in an actual table. Remember, cards are being dealt with fast. If you drag the rounds, the pit boss and the dealer will easily suspect you of card counting.

The most important part here is not just memorizing the card values and knowing how to calculate the starting count. You should also react fast to the colors of the cards. Remember, the black 7 and red 7 have different values.

To speed up your card counting skill, learn how to cancel cards. Cards with values of +1 and -1 cancel each other which mean you can already ignore it from your count.

Experts say that if you can count a deck in less than 30 seconds, you’re ready for the fastest blackjack game there is. The Red Seven card counting system will be your tool.

If you want to learn more from Arnold Snyder, here’s a podcast where he discussed his gambling strategies:

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